June 09, 2022 – Thursday
Acts 4:33 NIV
33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all.
Acts 4:33 ESV
33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.
Acts 4:33 NASB
33 And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.
There are three versions of this verse above purely so we could look at how grace is described so differently and yet very much the same. However, before we go there, we are going to take a look at how it was with great power that the apostles testified to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
One commentator says great power means they had “ability” given them to bear witness of the resurrection of the Saviour. it refers, therefore, I rather to their preaching than to their miracles. While another commentator says great power means, in a very powerful way, with great fervency of spirit, and ardour of mind, and uncommon zeal; or with great efficacy on the souls of men; or with many miracles, and powerful operations in healing the sick, casting out devils, etc. But it is Matthew Poole who captures what this great power was when he writes of this great power, by sundry miracles which they wrought, as also by their boldness with which they spake; it being no small wonder to see and hear such illiterate men testifying the truths of the gospel amidst so many learned rabbins. Such boldness exists yet today when men speak of the wonder of the Gospel of Jesus Christ from their hearts with great zeal.
Then there was a surprise, the giving of the testimony, the word give or giving had a meaning that initially surprised me. The Greek word for give or giving, G591 apodidōmi, is a verb that implies the idea of paying or rendering what gwas due according to Ellicott’s Commentary. While the Cambridge Bible Commentary says, The Greek verb implies a great deal more than our English gave. It is the word so constantly used for paying a debt or rendering an account. So that there is implied in it the sense of obligation under which the Apostles felt themselves to lie [be under] of declaring “the things which they saw and heard” This sense of obligation, really commitment to the truth which they knew, would be enormous and would be the source of the great power they had.
Then there is grace, God’ grace, great grace (most common), and abundant grace. We know from earlier discussions grace is favor and here it is God’s favor. The NIV is explicit in this, but the ESV and many others simply state great grace while the NASB and a few others write of abundant grace. The Pulpit Commentary states, while some think it is the grace of men because of the great power of their preaching, it is better to take it of the grace of God which abounded towards them in spiritual gifts and abundant unction and rich blessing, crowning their labors with success. Pastors, even today, talk about feeling God’s grace when preaching from time to time, not every time.
Bottom Line: You know the resurrected Christ as your Lord and Savior. Do you speak of this knowledge with great power, knowing it is the most wonderful thing that you know? Like the apostles, we too are to be Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Give us the courage to testify to Jesus’ resurrection just as His apostles did. Help us to be Christ’s ambassadors in our lives. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton